Introduction This article forms part of our travel medicine series for 2010, providing a summary of
prevention strategies and vaccinations for infections that may be acquired by travellers.
The series aims to provide practical strategies to assist general practitioners in giving travel
advice, as a synthesis of multiple information sources which must otherwise be consulted.
Background Typhoid and paratyphoid (enteric) fever, a potentially severe systemic febrile illness
endemic in developing countries, is associated with poor sanitation, reduced access
to treated drinking water and poor food hygiene. It is one of the leading causes of
infectious disease in the developing world.
Objective This article discusses the clinical features and prevention opportunities for typhoid and
Discussion Travellers to developing countries are at risk of infection. This risk varies from 1:30 000
for prolonged stays in endemic regions to 1:3000 in high endemicity areas such as the
Indian subcontinent, where risk is highest. The mainstay of prevention is hygiene and
food and water precautions. Vaccines against typhoid fever are discussed. However, when
used alone they provide incomplete protection. Treatment and future developments in
typhoid fever diagnostics and vaccines are also briefly discussed to provide a general
overview of typhoid fever and its prevention for use in travel related consultations in
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